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Our Godmothers Exchange Vows

Jim Burroway

June 16th, 2008

The first same-sex marriages took place in California, beginning at just one minute after 5:00 p.m. local time.

Phyllis and Del

This is Phyllis Lyon (right, 83) and Del Martin (left, 87) of San Francisco. They have been together for fifty-five years. They, along with six other women, founded the Daughters of Bilitis in 1955. The Daughters were the first major lesbian organization in the United States. Phyllis edited the DOB’s newsletter The Ladder beginning in 1956. Del edited The Ladder from 1960 to 1962. The Daughters eventually disbanded in 1970 after having established chapters all across the United States

In 1964, they helped found the Council on Religion and the Homosexual, bringing together national religious leaders and gay and lesbian activists for a national discussion of gay rights. Phyllis was also the first open lesbian to serve on the board of the National Organization for Women in 1973. Meanwhile, Del was heavily involved in getting the American Psychiatric Association to remove homosexuality from its list of mental disorders.

When Del and Phyllis met in 1950, the very idea that their relationship would someday be recognized by the state must have seemed utterly outlandish. But these pioneers have made a real difference for millions of gays and lesbians the world over, not just here in the United States. You might say that they are godmothers to all of us and our movement. After all these years of their hard work and dedication to the cause of lesbian rights, it’s hard to imagine a more appropriate couple to be the first to marry in San Francisco.

We not only offer our congratulations, but also our deepest thanks for all that Phyllis and Del have done, and all that they represent.



June 16th, 2008 | LINK

Thanks for providing the background on these two women. Their names were familiar, but I couldn’t figure out where I’d hear of them before.

Bill S
June 17th, 2008 | LINK

Oh wow!
There are some mornings when I’m just in a rotton mood and can barely look forward to leaving my house for my Lame Ass Job.
So this is the most perfect thing to read first thing in the morning-it’s just the antidote for the I-Hate-My-Life-Self-Pity-Party Blues. It made me smile uncontrollably! I can’t stop!

:) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :)

June 17th, 2008 | LINK

lovely. i especially love the title to this. one correction, though: you got their names backwards ;)

Jim Burroway
June 17th, 2008 | LINK

Bananie — it’s corrected now. Thanks.

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